Page:The Harvard Classics Vol. 51; Lectures.djvu/52

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42
HISTORY

to give up her posts on the Great Lakes, alleging the neglect of the United States to carry out the provisions of the treaty in regard to loyalists and debts, and Canadian officials encouraged the Indians across the Ohio to resist the advance of the Americans. In similar fashion on the southwest Spain denied the right of England to convey to the Union the territory between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi, and withheld the navigation of the river by means of her possession of New Orleans. She also, in the period of the weak confederation, intrigued with leaders of the Kentucky and Tennessee settlements to withdraw them from the Union; and, like England, she used her influence over the Indians to restrain the American advance.

While Indian wars were in progress north of the Ohio during Washington's administration, the French Revolution broke out, and England feared not only that the American expeditions against the Indians were in reality directed against the posts which she retained on the Great Lakes, but also that the United States would aid France in a general attack on her. Breaking her historic alliance with Spain, the French Republic, in 1783, tried to involve, first the Government of the United States and then the western frontiersmen in attacks upon Florida and Louisiana.

These were the critical conditions which in 1794 resulted in Jay's mission and treaty by which England agreed to give up the western posts.


THE STRUGGLE FOR THE MISSISSIPPI

Alarmed at the prospect of a union of England and the United States, Spain not only made peace with France at Bâsle in 1795, but also, by Pinckney's treaty in that year, conceded to the United States the Mississippi boundary and the navigation of the river. The latter concession was vital to the prosperity of the Mississippi Valley, for only by way of this river could the settlers get their surplus crops to a market.

It had become clear by 1795 that, with rival European nations threatening the flanks of the American advance, interfering in domestic politics, and tampering with the western frontiersmen, the United States was in danger of becoming a mere dependency of the